Saying No

Saying No
This post was previously published. It has been updated.

When I find myself getting overwhelmed, I can always trace it back to my not saying NO enough.

Our society doesn’t condition us to say no, though. Most of us were raised to pitch in and help out, and saying no doesn’t come easy. But it becomes necessary if you want to get a grip on an overcrowded schedule and/or task list.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying to reject every request immediately and without thought. I am merely saying that by being willing to think and say no more often, we can simplify our lives.

No Is A Complete Sentence

One of my friends will always give an explanation when saying no. This leads the requester into arguing with her reasons until my friend caves in and ends up doing the task.

By remembering that we don’t have to provide explanations, and that “No.” is a complete sentence, we don’t give others the opening to guilt us into doing something we really don’t want to do.

Saying No To You Means Saying Yes To Me

A former teacher of mine was fond of saying this. She wasn’t a selfish or self-centered woman, but she had her priorities in place and was not willing to let things get in the way of what she felt was important.

If we remember that by saying no to someone means saying yes to yourself, the frame of reference shifts. We are no longer disobliging someone, but making room in our lives for things we value, even if it is simply time to breathe.

Saying no can simplify our lives greatly. If we don’t give reasons or excuses, we won’t be argued into something. If we remember that we are creating space in our lives for something, it means that we are making room for things we value.